Where to Recycle This, Compost That in Denver

Where to Recycle This, Compost That in Denver
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Every old T-shirt or toy you throw out sits in landfills forever. This spring, be wise about your waste. Here’s where to take what:

Hazardous materials, electronics: The City of Denver’s At Your Door special-collection service disposes of cleaning products, gasoline, kerosene, paint, electronics, automotive products, gardening products and more for a flat rate of $15. To schedule a pick-up, visit wmatyourdoor.com, call 1-800-449-7587 or e-mail [email protected] In a few days, you’ll get an envelope in the mail with instructions and a bag to hold your materials. The service is offered to some communities outside of Denver, too, including Lone Tree, Westminster and Arapahoe County, and to local businesses.

Clothing, furniture, toys: The Denver Rescue Mission, which serves the city’s homeless population, accepts clothing, furniture, household items and more at its Ministry Outreach Center, 5725 East 39th Avenue, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Donate business-appropriate clothing and shoes to DenverWorks’ Career Closet program, which has outfitted 14,000 job-seekers in the metro area since 1996; for more information, call 303-433-0300 extension 4101. Goodwill accepts donations large and small of just about any kind, from furniture to appliances to clothing, and has locations across the metro area. Consider donating children’s clothing in good condition to Clothes to Kids of Denver. The nonprofit gives free clothes to qualified metro-area students in preschool through twelfth grade. The best part? Clothes to Kids offers a store-like setting that’s welcoming and relaxed for kids and parents alike.

Miscellaneous large items: Every four weeks, Solid Waste Management collects extra trash bags and large items, such as furniture that’s too trashed to be donated — but no more than ten bags of trash and five large items at a time. Trash must be in containers or bags no larger than 32 gallons and must weigh less than fifty pounds; the bags and any large items must be two feet from trash and recycling containers, as well as cars, light poles and other potential obstructions. Check denvergov.org for a schedule of large-trash pick-ups in your neighborhood. The Donation Center is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m.to 1 p.m. and the second Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Drop off donations 24 hours a day, seven days a week at a gray outdoor collection bin between Clothes to Kids, 2890 South Colorado Boulevard Unit M-3, and the Chez Artiste movie theater. Visit clothestokidsdenver.org for more information. Appointments are required for shopping; schedule one by calling 720-379-4630.

Food waste and general recycling: Homes on composting pick-up routes receive kitchen pails for food waste and street carts that are emptied once a week. It’s a limited service but will expand to the rest of the city by the end of the year; to check your address’s eligibility, visit denvergov.org’s Trash and Recycling page. If you’re not currently on a route and can’t wait until the end of the year to start composting, Denver Urban Gardens offers free classes on composting several times a month between April and October. Don’t have a yard? DUG teaches classes on worm composting and bokashi, a fermentation process for food waste, both of which can be done inside; visit dug.org/compost to learn more and to sign up. Once you start producing compost, give the superfood to your plants or friendly neighborhood gardener, or take it to the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-Off, located at the intersection of South Quebec Street and East Cherry Creek South Drive. Drop-off hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For items not mentioned here, search for “recycling directory” on denvergov.org, then type in the name of what you want to recycle in order to find the appropriate drop-off facility.

And don’t miss the Great Denver Cleanup on Saturday, May 20. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents are encouraged to drop off their spring-cleaning waste at thirteen sites throughout the city — for free. You can deliver an unlimited amount of large household items (furniture, bicycles, appliances without Freon) as well as rigid plastics, yard waste and some recyclable and reusable items. (Hazardous materials won’t be accepted.)

This story is part of a series on spring cleaning, which will be rolling out all week ahead of Earth Day, Saturday, April 22. Don't miss the rest of the stories, on Denver's disappearing dumpsters, Clarke the recycling-sorting robot and trash queen Teresa Castaneda.
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Ana Campbell has been Westword's managing editor since 2016. She has worked at magazines and newspapers around the country, picking up a few awards along the way for her writing and editing. She grew up in south Texas.
Contact: Ana Campbell